We’ve had a very exciting morning, here, because we’ve been to our first awards ceremony. And it was something.
The school the kids attend now have a student of the month type thing where one boy and one girl from each class are honored each month. They call it something else, of course (something long and unnecessarily complicated, along the lines of the Very Special Yay You Didn’t Get Suspended Or Hit Anybody What With Your Super Excellent Powers Of Following The Rules This Month Unlike Half The Student Body Who Couldn’t Be Bothered So We Shall Honor You For Just Being A Good Kid award), but it’s basically student of the month.
Monkey won this month. This marks a milestone in my kids’ lives, as I think this is the first time he has managed to garner such an achievement before his sister. She handled this with grace and good cheer, only just tripping him after they got off the bus the day he found out, and thereafter being very supportive because I threatened to rip her lips off if she didn’t shape up. (Our family motto: I’m happy for you, because Mama said so.)
Actually, I do think Chickadee settled into being quite happy for him once we had the “You know, it’s normal to be a little jealous, and that doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, nor does it mean you can’t be proud of him, too” conversation. She even got special permission to come attend the ceremony, even though it means she had to give up recess so she can go make up her work later.
Anyway. We filed into the gym for the pre-K through second grade ceremony. There were chairs for family set up, and then a wiiiiiiiide expanse between those chairs and where the honorees would sit, which I found odd. But then it became clear that ALL of the pre-K through second grade classes were coming in to watch their classmates be honored, and they took up all of that floor space (and then some), so then it made sense.
(Also? The entire kindergarten was apparently having Polar Express day. Which meant that there were tons of adorable children in their pajamas, and several less-than-adorable teachers in THEIR pajamas, and one woman wearing polka-dotted fleece lounge pants that I coveted.) (That has nothing to do with anything, but I thought I’d… oh, LOOK! Something SHINY!)
We sat and sat and sat while class after class filed in, and although we’d been told the ceremony would take just half an hour, I began to wonder if they’d even start before the half hour mark. Eventually everyone was assembled, though, and the principal started giving out the certificates.
Monkey was in the last group, as they started with pre-K and worked up to second grade. I don’t know if he’s become self-conscious of the enormous gap in his smile or what, but lately he has been doing this closed-lip smile that makes it look as though he’s being very brave, what with having swallowed a bug but still trying to look as though he’s happy. It just looks… PAINED. And I KNOW he was happy and excited, but we have a bunch of pictures of him looking out over his certificate with that “There’s a cockroach in my mouth, but DON’T WORRY, I’M OKAY” look on his face.
The award itself came with half-a-dozen certificates for free food at local eateries, so I told Chickadee she has to hurry up and win so that we can start feeding them both for free.
Now, here’s the interesting part. Apparently this school has a step dancing group. I fully admit to being both old and unhip, but supposedly the important part of STEP dancing is the, y’know, STEPPING. The footwork is the thing, yes? Arm movements and such aren’t supposed to matter.
Well, our school’s step dancing team provided “entertainment” for the award ceremony. This means they did a routine at the beginning and another at the end. And while there was, indeed, stepping, there was also a lot of clapping, and gyrating, and head-snapping, and my god, these girls were wearing white t-shirts and jeans, but all they needed was a few sequins and some stripper poles.
I feel so uncool, saying that. (YOU KIDS TODAY, WITH YOUR SUGGESTIVE HIP HOP!) But it was, um, very grown-up. Too much for my taste, frankly, but my discomfort is also fueled by the fact that—despite being an elementary school—there were several girls in the group who looked like teenagers.
(It’s a sobering thing when a fifth grader is more stacked that you are.)
So perhaps if these little step dances and the accompanying blaring music had been performed by a bunch of LITTLE kids it would’ve bothered me less, but as it was there were quite a few young ladies clearly SHAKING THEIR THANGS and you know, they should not HAVE thangs. There should be NO THANGS in elementary school. This is why I buy organic milk, so that my daughter shall not be THANGED before her time. Amen.
The best part was when Chickadee leaned over to me and whispered, “Wow, that girl in the middle is really… tall.” She dug around for “tall” before settling on it, but raised her eyebrows in such a way that I understood it to mean something more. I admit I enjoyed her horror a little too much. (That could be my new parenting strategy, come to think of it. “You will do as I say or you will GROW BOOBS, young lady!”)
Anyway, we are very proud of Monkey, but given what I saw today, I am feeling a little bit terrified of middle school. And high school! Maybe they do lap dances at the awards ceremonies, there.